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NYPA Hosts Workshop on LEED® Sustainable Building Practices In Response to Public Agency Interest

Brian Warner

September 17, 2007  

WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has again opened its doors to over 20 representatives from a wide-range of public agencies from New York City Transit Authority and Department of Sanitation and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including the Irvington Free School District representative and architectural consultants, for an orientation workshop on the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) process and accreditation.  

NYPA’s main administrative office here, the Clarence D. Rappleyea Building at 123 Main Street, is the first existing building in New York State to achieve the LEED Gold-EB (existing building) designation and is among only 19 such Gold facilities, new or existing, in the nation.   The course was held today, Monday, in the Jaguar Room on the ground floor of the Rappleyea Building. 

“Interest in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED orientations that we’ve organized has been overwhelmingly positive. One of the objectives of NYPA’s energy-efficiency effort has centered on educating public sector policy-makers on the array of measures available to lower energy costs while extending a facility’s useful life,” said Roger B. Kelley, president and chief executive officer, NYPA. “The LEED’s process offers new options to help protect the environment through sustainable building management practices.  NYPA has a long history of providing energy-efficiency services for publicly-owned facilities across the Empire State, including most of the agencies represented at this workshop session.”  

The all-day orientation session provided an overview of the LEED building certification process plus information on the test required to earn LEED accreditation.  Once an individual successfully receives LEED accreditation, he or she can lead efforts to secure LEED certification for a building. The session was given by Sebesta Blomberg, Inc., an architectural and engineering firm, which also served as NYPA’s consultant on the LEED process for its White Plains building. 

In response to Governor Eliot Spitzer’s goals, all state agencies and departments are seeking opportunities to enhance energy-efficiency practices and adopt the LEED sustainability concept at their administration buildings and operating facilities. NYPA’s sponsorship of this initial building sustainability workshop is a step in that direction.   

In addition to three earlier sessions in White Plains, NYPA has held this free LEED Workshop in New York City, Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo, with combined attendance totaling over 230.  Eight Workshops were planned with Monday’s session being the eighth, however due to continuing interest another session is being planned.   State and municipal officials interested in attending the ninth and final LEED Workshop should contact Andrea Phillips, business development facilitator, NYPA, at 914-390-8048.  The final Workshop will be held before year-end with the date to be scheduled shortly. Admission is free and seating is limited, so attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis.   

NYPA’s Gold-EB designation signifies that its 17-story building, meets the rigorous LEED performance standards in five key areas: sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water savings, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The USGBC developed the LEED program in 2000 to establish a nationally-accepted benchmark for new environmentally sustainable construction. In 2004, the USGBC broadened the LEED program to existing buildings like NYPA’s office building, which was constructed in the early 1980s and purchased by the Authority in 1991.  

NYPA’s designation, achieved in 2006, was built upon an earlier $3.4 million effort in 2002, which resulted in a 50 percent reduction in energy usage when compared to 1990 levels. This surpassed a 35 percent reduction that state-owned buildings are required to achieve by 2010 under an Executive Order issued by former Governor Pataki in 2001, and renewed in January by Governor Spitzer.  

The Power Authority has financed more than $110 million in energy-efficiency projects statewide, bringing its total financing to $1 billion since the late 1980s, which results in annual tax-payer savings of $100 million, eliminates 1.9 million barrels of oil foreign oil a year, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions annually by 810,825 tons.

About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. 

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